The athletic fields around the Tri-County News area, as well as all of Wisconsin, have sat empty this spring due to the corona-19 pandemic. But that has changed to an extent the past week and will change again tonight, albeit briefly.

Get into your cars and drive to the New Holstein High School football field, or Fifrick Field in Kiel, as athletic personnel will turn on the stadium lights from 8 pm to 8:20 pm  tonight (Friday, April 17) to show support for our high school athletes who have seen their athletic seasons come to a halt. Morrissey Field in Chilton showed their support last Friday night. That's how you can show your support for our kids. Please stay in your vehicles as we continue to practice social distancing.

From wissports.net, here is more information on how this celebration started:

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many aspects of life to a screeching halt, including schooling and education-based activities. Schools are closed, athletic fields sit empty, thousands of athletes remain in limbo, unsure if they've played their last games.
To shine a light on those athletes and to provide a message of support and hope, a growing national movement is under way to #BeTheLight, turning on the stadium lights at high school facilities around the country.

In less than a week since the idea was introduced here in Wisconsin with the Badger State-specific Twitter hashtag of #BeTheLightWI, more than 200 schools have already participated or pledged to participate in the coming days.

We encourage all schools to join in this campaign by turning on stadium lights at your fields this Friday, April 17th at 8 pm to let your students, especially the student-athletes and others participating in all forms of extra-curricular activities, know that you are thinking of them, you are supporting them, and you will be there for them when they return.

If you participate, we encourage you to post photos of your stadium lights on social media using the #BeTheLightWI hashtag (and feel free to tag @wissportsnet).

Some schools that have previously participated have turned their lights on for 20 minutes to recognize the Class of 2020 seniors. Some have invited community members to join or drive by, while staying in vehicles and/or following Safer At Home guidelines. Displaying messages on scoreboards, posting photos of senior athletes on the video board, and turning on lights inside gymnasiums are other ideas that some schools around the country have adopted. Our neighbors in Minnesota saw more than 250 schools participate in a #BeTheLightMN campaign last night.

We invite you to join in this growing movement to provide a beacon of hope and support, and to consider participating in the #BeTheLightWI movement every Friday night until schools and athletes return.